AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - The Eparch of Adigrat: the impact of the crisis in Tigray also affects pastoral service programs

Friday, 12 May 2023

Adigrat (Agenzia Fides) - Famine, cities and homes looted, hospitals destroyed, businesses razed to the ground, sacred places desecrated, rapes. The people of Tigray have been suffering unimaginable suffering for almost three years. Only a few days ago, the United States Agency for International Development announced the temporary suspension of humanitarian aid due to thefts and general insecurity. Almost all of Tigray's 6 million inhabitants depend on food aid, after two years of civil war and government-imposed restrictions on humanitarian aid that have pushed parts of the region to the brink of famine.
"I pray for the Tigrinyan population and also for an end to the atrocious violence and suffering underway in other regions of the country", writes to Fides Tesfaselassie Medhin, bishop of the Catholic eparchy of Adigrat. "I always trust in a serious concerted, public, unequivocal voice and an appeal from all religious leaders, for peaceful pressure to be exerted on all decision-makers in any context of emergency and precariousness".
There are many related problems that continue to cause enormous suffering to the population of the northern region of Ethiopia after more than two years of hostilities between the Ethiopian federal army and the Tigrinya militias of the TPLF, and despite a historic peace agreement between the warring parties signed on 2 November 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa (see Fides, 3/11/2022).
The eparch also highlights the very serious problem of landmines that cause the death of children and civilians in the areas from which the occupiers have moved, and the restoration of destroyed infrastructure.
On the criminal acts, violations of rights, kidnappings, gender-based violence, blockades of villages and roads that are perpetrated in the region Medhin points out that "all of this has a great impact on the blockage and restriction of our supplies and our pastoral service programs". (TM/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 12/5/2023)